Episode 1 was mainly character creation. For those who don’t know, Amber is a diceless game, and you have a limited number of points that you can spend on attributes, powers, and things, with the ability to over-spend and go into karmic debt, or underspend and be lucky.
I did a quick explanation of the rules, for those who hadn’t read them, but the combo of the rulebook and the unique setting meant people were a little unsure. If I wanted to improve that, I’d pre-prepare a setting guide. However, the best way to deal with it would be to make sure everyone had read the appropriate bits of the rulebook before we started. In this case, I was making an intro game, so I didn’t force that.
I messed with the rules a bit, and used a mechanism called ‘pit of vipers’ where after everything else is done, you get to award downgradings and upgradings to other people. I could have refined that by drawing names from a hat to ensure that everyone was supported and pummelled equally. Some people were hit harder than others. I was expecting a short campaign, in which I needed to get RP hooks in quickly, so the unfairness of that would not have a long time to congeal. For a longer campaign, it would definitely be best to draw names randomly, both to ensure points fairness, and to make sure that hatreds and friendships were not restricted to people who were sitting next to each other. The Pit of Vipers is not a part of the core rules, but it did shape our intro, and I think it was a net gain. I could do that better.
We had a short game, and one of the PCs didn’t like what he had built and how it worked in the world. We put that aside to deal with the next week.